Brett Lee faces punishment from Cricket Australia next week for suggesting in Sunday’s The Sun-Herald that Cricket NSW chief executive David Gilbert, and not the team’s coach Anthony Stuart, should’ve been sacked as a result of the team’s poor performances over the last 18 months.
He will appear before a committee of CNSW board members and a CA-appointed Code of Behaviour Commissioner at a date still to be confirmed.
Lee’s comments resonated because throughout his career he’d displayed good sportsmanship and rarely commented on matters outside of getting batsmen out and on his respective team’s performances. He said his comments regarding CNSW were made because he felt that someone needed to do something for the sake of the sake of cricket in NSW.
The woes of CNSW have been well documented for quite a while with reports of players disharmony with management, the fact three international class players - Usman Khawaja, Phillip Hughes and Peter Forrest - had left for other states because they did not believe they could improve under the NSW structure, there were concerns about the running of the Sydney Thunder Big Bash League team which is part-owned by CNSW, the communication between the front office and the players was described as poor.
While many have muttered about them, Lee was the only one to put his name to the frustrations. Lee was reported for an alleged breach of Cricket Australia’s Code of Behaviour, however, it was expected the paceman could argue at the hearing that his call for change amid a what had been described as a grim backdrop was actually for the good of cricket.
Meanwhile, CNSW chief executive David Gilbert defended himself from Lee’s call by detailing his achievements since he assumed the post in 2001 via email and they include:
· The NSW Blues and the NSW Breakers have won more titles than any other state;
· NSW male and female under-age representative teams have won more titles than any other state;· NSW has produced more male and female Test players than any other state;
· NSW has contested five Sheffield Shield finals, winning on three occasions (in the seven years prior to my commencement the team did not make a final);
· The NSW Breakers have won a record seven consecutive WNCL titles;
· 30 per cent of state contracted players across Australia are of NSW-origin;· Participation numbers across NSW have increased by 150 per cent;
· Cricket NSW has invested in excess of $10 million in developing and improving cricket infrastructure and facilities across NSW;
. Cricket NSW was earlier this month awarded the NSW Sports Federation’s ‘Organisation of the Year’ for 2012. This is the second time in three years that Cricket NSW has won this award.